Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sausage and Lentil Soup

Sausage and Lentil Soup

This is a copycat version of Carrabba's sausage and lentil soup that I found on http://www.recipezaar.com/. It is wonderful. I used turkey sausage to lighten it up. It is mildly spicy.

1 large carrot
2 stalks celery
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb hot Italian sausage
8 cups chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups dried lentils
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
Dice the first four ingredients and saute them in a large pot with the oil. Saute until tender.
Remove vegetables from the pan and add the Italian sausage, removed from the casing, to the pan. Brown then drain off fat.
Pour 8 cups for chicken broth, the vegetables back into the pot.
Add tomatoes and lentils.
Add remaining ingredients.
Simmer until the lentils are tender, 30-45 minutes.
Remove 1/3 of the soup and puree. then return it to the pot.
Correct the seasonings and remove bay leaf.

I served with grated Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

No Bake Cheesecake With Block O Design

No Bake Cheesecake

This is a recipe that my grandma would always make. This version will fill a 9x13 pan, but you can half the recipe and make into a normal pie shape. Most people top it with pie filling or fresh fruit. I just had to decorate it for an Ohio State game. Enjoy!

1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
16 oz reduced fat cream cheese
16 oz reduced fat sour cream
4tsp vanilla extract
16 oz reduced fat whipped topping
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix crumbs, butter, and 1/3 cup sugar in bowl and spread into 9x13 pan. Press down and set aside. Beat cream cheese with mixer until smooth, then add 2/3 cup sugar. Beat until combined. Blend in sour cream and vanilla. Fold in whipped topping and lemon juice. Spoon into crust. Chill until set at least 4 hours.

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad
Here is another dish from my cooking class in Thailand.
The proportions differ greatly around Thailand, and may be altered to the taste. Its very hard to estimate how much of the ingredients to be used (more or less chili, sweetness of the papaya, etc).

finely chopped red chilies (about 1 small chili)
minced garlic (about 1 clove)
long beans ( a small handful of green beans may be used)
roasted peanuts-small handful
1 plum tomato
1 lime
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
shredded green papaya (about 1/2 of a papaya)
shredded carrot (about 1/2 cup)

To make the sauce mix together some finely chopped chilies, garlic, long beans, peanuts, and tomato. Traditionally a mortar and pestle is used to really crush and mix all of the ingredients together. Add juice of half a lime. Mix well. Add soy sauce and sugar. Then add papaya and carrot, and mix well.

Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Hummus

1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp cashews
6 pieces of steamed pumpkin (can use canned pumpkin-about 3/4 cup)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
small handful cilantro
small handful spring onion
small handful fresh mint

A mortar and pestle is used traditionally in this recipe. A food processor could be used if one is not available.
Crush or pound sesame seeds and cashews together until fairly smooth. Add pumpkin and soy sauce. And blend until evenly mixed. Add cilantro, minced spring onion, and mint. Blend until the consistency you prefer (may add water if mixture is too thick).

This may be used as a dip or a varaition of spring rolls.

Green Thai Curry

Green Thai Curry

1 tsp green curry paste
1 tsp oil
small handful of mixed veggies (carrots, greens, mushrooms, eggplant, etc)
6 tbsp coconut milk
1 cup cooked potato
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
thai basil leaves (optional)

Fry green curry paste with veggies in oil. Add 3 tbsp milk, and potato. Add soy sauces and sugar, and cook until the veggies are cooked but still crisp. Add 3 more tbsp coconut milk. Turn off heat and add basil.
Serve with rice. Makes 1 bowl.

Massaman Curry

Massaman Curry

1 tsp red curry paste
1 plum tomato
1 cup potato (already cooked)
handful mixed vegetables (carrot, greens, mushrooms, cauliflower, etc)
1 tsp massaman curry powder
6 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
Sprinkle roasted peanuts
lime juice

Fry red curry paste with tomato, and potato in oil. Add curry powder and cook until fragrant. Add 3 tbsp coconut milk and veggies. A little water may be needed to be added to cook the vegetables. Cook until veggies done and add soy sauces and sugar. Add 3 tbsp coconut milk. Turn off eat and add juice of half a lime. Sprinkle with peanuts.
Serve with rice. Makes 1 bowl.

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls
spring roll wrappers
leaf lettuce
blanched bean sprouts
shredded carrot
grated coconut
sweet thai basil leaves
sesame seeds
Soak spring roll wrappers until pliable. Roll 1 wrapper out and place lettuce on bottom. Add bean sprouts, carrot, coconut, basil, and peanut sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Roll up wrapper being careful to turn the edges in to enclose the filling. Great when dipped into the peanut sauce.

Pad Thai and Peanut Sauce

Pad Thai

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp minced garlic
pinch of sliced fresh chili (amount to your spice level)
small handful mixed veggies (carrot, onion, tomato)
1 egg
1 portion presoaked glass noodles
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
small handful bean sprouts
small handful spring onions
sprinkle roasted peanuts

Fry chili, garlic, and veggies in oil. Add raw egg. When egg cooked on one side break it up and add the noodles. Mix well and add sauces , sugar, and bean sprouts. Sprinkle with onion, peanuts, and drizzle with lime juice.

May serve with some peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce

1 plum tomato
1 tbsp red curry paste
1 tbsp oil
6 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp roasted ground peanuts
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dark sauce
1 tsp lime juice

Dice the tomato, and fry with curry paste in oil until paste is fragrant. While frying, try to smash the tomato into a paste. Add 3 tbsp coconut milk, and ground peanuts. Then add sauces and sugar. Add 3 more tbsp milk, and cook for 5 more minutes. If too thin may add more milk or water. Remove from heat and add lime juice.

This sauce is a great dipper for Spring rolls.

Stir Fried Vegetables with Cashews or Ginger
(you can also add chicken, beef, etc)
2 tsp oil
1 plum tomato
small handful sliced onion
small handful shredded carrot
small handful any mixed veggies on hand (mushrooms, greens, cauliflower, broccoli, etc)
1 tsp crushed garilc
diced chili pepper (amount and type to you liking)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce or mushroom sauce
6 tbsp water
handful cashews or thinly sliced ginger
If using any meat, stir fry in oil until almost cooked through in wok. Then add veggies (if doing ginger version add ginger now) , garlic and chili. Stir fry until still crisp. Add sugar, soy sauce, and water. Stir fry for 2-3 more minutes, Turn off heat and add cashew nuts.

Pumpkin Soup

6 pieces steamed pumpkin
1/3 bowl coconut milk
1/3 bowl water
small handful parsley
small handful cilantro
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp chopped onion
1/2 tbsp chapped garlic
pinch salt
pinch sugar

Place steamed pumpkin, milk, water, parsley, and cilantro in food processor. In wok, add butter, onion, and garlic. Fry for a few minutes, then add pumpkin mixture. Add salt and sugar. Stir for 3 minutes, or until soup reduces and becomes thicker.

For a variation you can add 1/2 tsp yellow curry.

Cooking Class in Thailand, Tom Yam Soup

I took a cooking class at May Kaidee's on our vacation to Thailand. I had a private lesson. The class starts out with a trip to one of the local markets to buy ingredients for some of our dishes. Then we headed into the kitchen and made 12 different items. When it was finished we had a group of 6 people to eat all of the wonderful food. The recipes make single soup size bowl portions. The restaurant is vegetarian, but she showed me when meat/seafood could be added to the dishes. Also alot of the measurements are to you liking/spice level.

The dish above is Tom Yam Soup

1 bowl water
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 slices galangal
2 inch piece of lemongrass
1 tbsp shredded carrot
1 tbsp sliced onion
1 plum tomato
1 handful of mixed vegetables (any on hand, cauliflower, broccoli, greens, etc)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp Tom Yam paste
1/2 tbsp chopped spring onion
1/2 tbsp cilantro
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp coconut milk

In a wok, boil on soup bowlful of water. Add 2 crushed kaffir lime leaves, 2 slice galangal and a 2 inch piece of lemongrass(smashed to release flavor). Add carrot, onion, tomato, and mixed vegetables. When boiling again add soy sauces, sugar, and Tom Yam paste. Turn off heat when vegetables are tender. To finish add spring onion, cilantro, lime juice, and coconut milk.

If shrimp are to be added to the soup place in water after water boils, then add the veggies.

I will post more pics/recipes in other posts